Folate and Vitamin B12 Deficiencies Are Linked to Depression
B vitamins play a crucial role in mental health because they are used to make neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These nutrients are involved in several biochemical reactions in the brain and body and help to optimize nervous system function and increase energy. Vitamin B12 and folate (which is officially Vit B9) work synergistically to balance mood. Because of their vital roles in brain and neurotransmitter function, deficiencies in B12 and folate have been linked to depression.
The forms of the vitamins matter. The best types of B12 and folate are the methylated forms: methylcobalamin (B12) and methylfolate (5-MTHF). These are much better forms compared to cyanocobalamin and folic acid because the methylated forms are readily available to be used by the body. Also, a large percentage of the population has a decreased ability to convert folic acid into folate based on genetics.
B12 and folate can be taken as supplements and/or given as intramuscular injections. Arizona Natural Medicine now offers methylfolate (5-MTHF) injections in addition to methylcobalamin (B12) injections. The proper supplementation of B12 and folate can have a beneficial effect on depression and mood and can be used in addition to other therapies. Talk to a Naturopathic Doctor at AZNM to discuss an integrative approach to depression.